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Sunday, November 4, 2012

A few interesting things from this morning's webcrawl

Just in time for this week's election: TED speaker Clay Shirky on how the Internet will one day transform government and citizen participation:

 

Don't neglect to vote!! Need help finding your polling place, have a question about eligibility, need to register? Go here http://gab.wi.gov/voters for information or stop by your library.

Clay's talk above led me to NeverSeconds, an astonishing blog by a Scottish schoolgirl who chronicled what her school served for lunch by posting a daily photo of the meal online. Lots of chicken nuggets! Her idea was to promote healthier & more appealing school lunches. Ultimately initially supportive school administrators decided it was time to pull the plug on the project and forbade her from taking pictures of her food, a huge outcry online resulted:

"Influential citizen journalist overcomes censorship thanks to online support.
No, this is not a headline from a repressive region, but a description of nine-year-old blogger in Scotland named Martha Payne, who has been allowed to continue a blog in which she photographs and rates her school dinners, after the local council reversed a decision saying that she would no longer be able to take pictures in the dining hall."
 Source: Editors Weblog

When someone commented that Martha should be glad to have anything at all to eat for lunch as children in many places had nothing, the blog took up the cause of Mary's Meals, which organizes school feeding programs for children in some of the poorest countries around the globe. With Martha's help, 115,000 pounds ($184,374.) and huge public awareness was raised for Mary' Meals so that their work continues to grow. See their thanks to Martha here: http://www.marysmeals.org.uk/thank-you-martha/

Worth noting:  In one very important respect, Mary's Meals differs from other global feeding programs. Rather than distributing factory-made meal "product" created by multinational agricultural corporations (which have an undisclosed, profit-driven interest in obtaining genetic patents on and thereby controlling distribution of valuble native food crop seeds that millions of people depend upon- read about mustard seed in India and crop modifications ), Mary's Meals , "Wherever possible...purchases locally produced food for use in the meals we serve in schools. This supports the local economy, it respects local culture and food preferences, and it avoids incurring extra transport costs." Source:  Marys Meals Online 

 Instead of introducing competition for local farmers and upending seed saving traditions, Mary's Meals becomes their customer.

Finally, a thought provoking article about how technology is changing the way students learn.  What you have to understand as a parent is that what happens in the home with media consumption can affect academic achievement....There is a widespread belief among teachers that students’ constant use of digital technology is hampering their attention spans and ability to persevere in the face of challenging tasks, according to two surveys of teachers being released on Thursday. "
Food for thought and a good reason to unplug and get outdoors with the family- that's where we're headed now! Stay tuned for upcoming news and events @ Your Library.

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